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Download A Rattleskull Genius: The Many Faces of Iolo Morganwg by Geraint H. Jenkins PDF

By Geraint H. Jenkins

An industrious educational and charmingly eccentric Romantic poet and forger, Iolo Morganwg (1747-1846) left in the back of a floor-to-ceiling stack of unpublished manuscripts in his small Welsh cottage. A Rattleskull Genius, in accordance with that trove of unpublished fabric now held on the nationwide Library of Wales, offers either a party and a severe reassessment of the writer and his contributions to Welsh cultural culture.

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Additional info for A Rattleskull Genius: The Many Faces of Iolo Morganwg (University of Wales Press - Iolo Morganwg and the Romantic Tradition)

Example text

This was in a letter to William Vaughan, dated 14 June 1755. 33 34 I. , a speech worthy of a Welch bishop!

1790. Later, he acquired the suffix BBD – Bard by the Privilege and Rite of the Bards of the Isle of Britain (Bardd wrth Fraint a Defod Beirdd Ynys Prydain) – which he sported proudly. As the champion of the freer metrical system known as ‘Mesurau Morgannwg’ or ‘Dosbarth Morgannwg’ (Glamorgan Measures or Old Classification), an intimidating eisteddfod adjudicator, and (so he insisted) the last authentic survivor of the ancient bardo-druidic system, he exerted a powerful influence on the development of the Welsh poetic tradition in the Romantic age.

66 Iolo’s writings fused vivid sweeping narratives of national history with microcosmic depictions of localities. By combining factual information, imagination, subjectivity and passion, he offered his countrymen a new and compelling sense of the relevance of the past. 68 In so far as he was the first to collect Welsh folksongs in a systematic way, Iolo Morganwg is to the Welsh what Robert Burns is to the Scots, John Clare to the English and Gérard Nerval to the French. 70 By that stage he had successfully ‘married’ the Gorsedd of the Bards to the provincial eisteddfodau held from 1819 onwards, thereby reinforcing his commitment to liberty, druidism and Welsh culture in general.

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